My nephew's third birthday is coming up at the end of this month. He is the first and only immediate-family nephew, and likely will remain that way for a long time. He's an awesome kid, and I was absolutely obsessed with him when he was first born and I was still childless. I still love the crap out of him, but obviously, now that we're more than a 40 minute drive away, it's been a bit more difficult to stay close. He's the only other (related) little kid in our lives, so we've always been prepared and generous with his birthdays, Christmases, and any other holiday that may involve sending a gift.
I purchased his gift during a zulily sale that I was particularly enthusiastic about, several months ago. I made quite a few purchases during that sale, actually, including Tybalt's birthday gift. Yesterday, I went to the yarn store and picked some bundles out with the mind of making him a matching sweater and hat set. With kids, I usually like to buy something and knit something, in case what I make isn't to the parent's liking. But this morning, I checked my email and found a link to "Nephew's Birthday Gift Registry".
Is this done now?
I checked it out and it's nothing out of the ordinary. Various price ranges, not too many items. I realize that many people wonder what to get, wonder what little kids like, etc. But, a gift registry? For a toddler? I get a little nauseated imagining someone go through the aisles at the toy store with a scanning wand, picking toys out. "A soccer ball! This will go perfectly with our napkin rings."
Maybe I'm being unreasonably old fashioned. Maybe it's OK to extend this gift-giving norm beyond weddings and showers. I realize that my SIL probably made this list to avoid the emails and phone calls from those who don't know nephew well enough to realize that he loves trains and is learning to ride a bicycle. And I realize that yes, it probably is helpful to some. But is this actually a problem that needed solving by making a list of gifts you would like your child to receive? Having a short conversation with someone about what their kid likes, or dislikes? I understand a simple note on sizing, preferences for non-violent toys, or "Kid X loves trains!" and feel like this is perfectly reasonable.
But a gift registry for a three year old? I don't think so.